Student donates to Cayman Heart Fund

Money donated to help newborn baby

Brandon Simmonds, second from right, presents baby Anthony’s mother Rosa Martiez-Vaquedano with a check for the money he raised in lieu of birthday gifts. Also pictured, from left, are Brandon's parants Marcus Simmonds, Monique Hamaty-Simmonds, and Colleen Mellott of the Cayman Heart Fund.

A 12-year-old student has raised $645 from friends and family to donate to the Cayman Heart Fund to help a newborn baby in need of medical care.

When Brandon Simmonds, a Year 7 student at Cayman Prep and High School, heard that baby Anthony Vaquedano, who was just 60 days old and hospitalized at Health City, was in urgent need of a specialized procedure to keep him alive, he prayed every night, according to a press release from Cayman Heart Fund.

With his birthday coming up, he discussed with his parents that he didn’t really want or need any gifts, but instead he wanted to try to help raise money to help baby Anthony and his family.

“We were thrilled with the idea, in part because it teaches philanthropy and altruism, but mostly because it was something he really wanted to do,” said his parents Marcus and Monique Simmonds in the press release.

Brandon said, “I’m very fortunate and I don’t really need anything, but baby Anthony and his family need help. Baby Anthony’s mother works at Tortuga Rum Company, which is owned by my grandfather, and I saw the staff collecting for her and it just came to my mind that I could help too.”

Thanking young Brandon for his gift, David Dinner, chairman of the Cayman Heart Fund said, “With the holiday season nearby, we would like to encourage the community to give the gift of giving. It does good and it feels good. The perfect gift is a gift to charity and the community in Cayman continues to show this spirit year after year.